Dixon's last-ball heroics
Jake Dixon was the man of the moment as Sowerby Bridge replaced Blackley at the top of the Halifax League's middle section yesterday.
Bridge’s number nine batsman came in for the final delivery of the match, with the scores level, and struck a boundary to clinch victory in the battle of the top two.
Left arm spinner Dixon had earlier taken four for 48 as hosts Blackley made 171, thanks mainly to number three Dominic Walsh’s 87.
The home total looked likely to be more than enough when Bridge slumped to 92 for six.
However, Tim Hellwell (62) and Sam Mellor (29 no) stood firm to launch a revival and they were still there with eight required off the last over.
Bridge picked up singles of James O’Connell’s first three balls. Helliwell then hit a boundary but was trapped leg before off the penultimate ball to give O’Connell a fourth victim of the innings.
However, Dixon kept his cool to seal a three-wicket win in the clash of the sides relegated from the Premier last year.
Ben Burkill continued his fine season with another century as Cullingworth kept the pressure on the top two with a 141-run thrashing of visitors.
The diminutive all-rounder hit 119 as Cullingworth totalled 241 and then was quickly in action with the ball after Phil Poole was injured bowling the first delivery of the second half.
Burkill took two for 11 and Daniel Baines three for three as Shelf slipped from 51 for one to 100 all out.
Another player to reach three figures was Bridgeholme’s Bobby Fielden in his side’s three-wicket win at Southowram.
Half-centuries from Jason Wilkinson (65) and Daniel Pummell (56) helped the Rams to 219 for eight and they looked likely winners when the Eastwood side were faltering at 139 for seven.
However, Fielden found a willing partner in Oliver Davy-Day (32 no) and they added the extra 83 needed for victory, Fielden finishing unbeaten on 106.
Four wickets for Chris Brown and 49 from Waqar Ilyas helped Great Horton PC beat visitors Stones by 43 runs and pull 16 points clear of the bottom two.
First Division: *Blackley 171-9 (Walsh 87, Dixon 4-48), Sowerby Bridge 175-7 (Helliwell 62, O’Connell 4-37): pts 4-11. *Cullingworth 241-9 (Burkill 119), Shelf 100: pts 12-3. *Great Horton PC 166 (Ilyas 49), Stones 123: pts 12-5. *Southowram 219-8 (Wilkinson 65, Pummell 56), Bridgeholme 222-7 (Fielden 106*, Y Mahmood 40): pts 5-11.
Points: Sowerby Bridge 84, Blackley 83, Cullingworth 82, Bridgeholme 72, Southowram 71, Great Horton PC 64, Shelf 48, Stones 41.
Rival players Andrew Holding and Aaron Buckley dominated the first half of the Bradshaw versus Outlane contest in Division Two.
Holding hit 114 for Outlane but eventually fell to Buckley, who took eight for 62 as the visitors posted 224.
Matthew Crowther (59) and Adam Spendelow (51) helped Bradshaw take the spoils by a three-wicket margin.
Greetland registered a third win of the season with a 31-run success at Birchencliffe.
Scott Whelan made 60 before being bowled by Mosan Raza, who took six for 30, but Greetland’s total of 163 proved sufficient.
Mitesh Mistry took six for 45 and hit an unbeaten 54 as Clayton romped to a 156 run home win over Low Moor HT.
Leymoor overhauled visitors Old Town’s 190, which included 45 from Mohammad Khan and 56 from Istikhar Ahmed, with two wickets in hand.
Isaac Baldwin (five for 36) helped put Luddenden Foot in a strong position at Mount, who were 91 for seven.
However, Imran Patel came to the home side’s rescue with 104 not out and the last 12 overs yielding 101 runs.
Foot had too many failures in their pursuit of 231 for victory and fell 33 runs short, despite a valiant late 47 not out from Joshua Baines.
Leaders Illingworth St Mary’s demolished hosts Upper Hopton, who were bowled out for 85 with Luke Brooksby taking five for 26. Illingworth won by six wickets.
Second Division: Greetland 163 (Whelan 60, Raza 6-30), *Birchencliffe 132 (Hayat 5-54): pts 12-4. Outlane 224 (Holding 114, Buckley 8-62), *Bradshaw 229-7 (M Crowther 59, Spendelow 51): pts 5-12. *Clayton 248-6, Low Moor HT 92: pts 12-1. Old Town 190 (Ahmed 56, Khan 45, Dyson 5-54), *Leymoor 191-8 (Allison 65, Khan 4-65): pts 5-12. *Mount 230 (I Patel 104*, Baldwin 5-38, Allen 4-31), Luddenden Foot 197 (Broadbent 53, Baines 47*, A Rawat 4-47): pts 12- 6. *Upper Hopton 85 (Brooksby 5-26), Illingworth St Mary’s 86-4: pts 1-12.
Points: Illingworth SM 118, Bradshaw 99, Clayton 80, Mount 73, Outlane 71, Leymoor 60, Birchencliffe 60, Upper Hopton 56, Low Moor 56, Luddenden Foot 56, Greetland 55, Old Town 53.